How Can You Use Medical Marijuana to Improve Sleep?
Among many of the benefits of medical marijuana, improved sleep can be a big deal for patients suffering from any of the conditions on West Virginia’s list of illnesses approved for medical cannabis.
Poor sleep can worsen symptoms, cause new problems, and it can even create an unhealthy state of mind while you’re awake. Cannabis has a lot to offer for sleeping disorders and difficulty with sleeping, and there are some ways to make medical cannabis more efficient for better sleep.
In this article, we’ll talk about medical marijuana & quality of sleep, types of medical cannabis to use for better sleep, and how to use your cannabis for a better night’s rest!
Cannabis & Sleep Quality
Poor Sleep Can Cause Conditions That Shorten Your Life Expectancy
Sleep is an important factor in many different aspects of life. Sleep allows us to recover from the day, reboot our brains, and regulate our body’s normal operating levels. Poor sleep can contribute to heart disease, neurological issues, kidney problems, and poor sleep is even linked to a shorter life expectancy.
Quality sleep on the other hand, promotes a healthier lifestyle, reduces your chances of worsening your current symptoms, and actively works to help your body function at a healthier level.
How Cannabis Changes Your Quality of Sleep
Cannabis can change a lot about your sleep. From the quality of sleep, the length of time you sleep, your energy level, and your ability to fall asleep quickly, cannabis can do a lot for sleeping.
Some strains may make you sleepier, or more energetic, and many strains have terpenes that stimulate sleepiness and drowsiness, or energy and creativity.
Picking the right strain for bedtime can make a big difference in how fast you fall asleep and choosing the wrong strain might have you avoiding sleep, so it’s important to know whether certain strains will help bring on sleep or delay it.
How to Use Medical Cannabis for Better Sleep the Right Way
Using Cannabis to Fall Asleep Faster
One of the reasons why cannabis is good for sleep is because it can help you fall asleep faster.
By using indica-dominant strains that have lower amounts of THC before bed, many patients report being able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Good for patients with insomnia, PTSD, and conditions that prevent them from falling asleep within a normal amount of time (10 – 20 minutes), low-THC indica strains with a good sleep-oriented terpene profile can work wonders.
Using Cannabis for Staying Asleep Longer
Using cannabis to stay asleep longer is a little trickier.
Most patients agree that strains with lower-THC are best for nighttime, because too much THC can prevent sleeping and reduce quality of sleep. However, many patients find that edibles are a good way to introduce a “heavier sleep”, though be careful with too high of a dosage before bedtime.
Edibles with 10mg – 20mg can be a great way to stay asleep longer for some patients, while others may find that cannabis flower may offer a lighter approach to longer sleep.
What to Avoid When Using Cannabis for Better Sleep
Cannabis & REM Sleep Studies
Cannabis and REM sleep is a bit of a debated topic.
High doses of THC may impact your REM sleep, or rapid-eye-movement sleep, and it plays an important role in how asleep you really are while you’re knocked out.
Though studies suggest that cannabis use may impact your REM sleep, researchers have determined that much of the available research has not been done in a properly controlled scientific environment.
Unfortunately, as a result, many sleep studies with cannabis have been prone to external bias such as improper measurements, inconclusive results, and problematic control groups.
It’s likely safe to say anecdotally that high doses of THC will probably impact your REM sleep and negatively affect your sleep quality overall if you have a low tolerance, but research is still ongoing to figure out exactly what the parameters are for cannabis and sleep.
Mistakes in Using Cannabis for Sleeping
Avoid using sativas, or strains known to have high-energy terpenes, as these types of cannabis can often prevent you from sleeping or wanting to sleep. Another mistake is using products that aren’t psychoactive, though CBD gets a technical pass here.
CBD may reduce anxiety and invite a calmer sleep, though it’s likely in the entourage effect of all the components in your cannabis that can help promote the best sleep quality.
Products like topicals and salves won’t likely help you sleep any better, as they lack the interoperability with your central nervous system and brain to impact your sleep.
Certain Conditions Benefit from Cannabis at Bedtime More than Others
One caveat to using cannabis for better quality of sleep are conditions that heavily impact sleep.
Insomnia and PTSD are two conditions that can alter your sleep quite significantly, and the rules are sometimes a bit backwards for patients suffering from conditions that prevent them from sleeping or staying asleep.
For patients with severe sleeping disorders, high-THC products such as stronger edibles or concentrates are sometimes recommended right before bedtime to break past the barrier to sleep.
Cannabis Will Work Differently for Everyone’s Sleep
For patients who find they are unable to fall asleep quickly due to their symptoms, treating the symptom often becomes the key to better sleep.
At the end of the day, just like everything in the world of medical marijuana, your results will be highly relative to you and your conditions and symptoms. There isn’t usually a one-size-fits-all approach with cannabis, but you might find these tips can help you fall asleep a little quicker by using medical marijuana the right way!
Get Your Medical Marijuana Certification in West Virginia
Medical marijuana has the power to interact with many different aspects of our life and health, and quality sleep can make a big difference in your health overall. Medical marijuana is available for patients who have received a medical marijuana certification in West Virginia, and you can get yours today!
Take the steps to schedule your medical marijuana evaluation appointment online today, and get access to legal marijuana products available at dispensaries!
Being a West Virginia medical marijuana patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you. We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way! Feel free to give us a call at 877-303-8424 and we can answer your questions about getting a medical marijuana card in West Virginia.
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If you have any questions, call us at 877-303-8424, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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